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Poster: light into ashes Date: Jan 4, 2010 7:09am
Forum: GratefulDead Subject: The Dead's 1966 Songs

Beyond 1967, there lies a strange land of garage-band Dead. The music sounds odd and unfamiliar - it's not quite "primal Dead", but almost a completely different band than the one we first heard. The band is young and full of pep - dipping their toes in teeny-pop, jugband antiquities, and smoky blues - the few original songs sound like weird attempts to copy the local top 40 - Garcia solos frantically, but the band is still clunky and learning how to carry a jam - Pigpen often takes the lead with his harp, organ, soulful singing, and barrel of R&B covers. The Dead started out as an average dance band, playing short sets at any place that would take them - but they were a band of dropout freaks & ex-folkie acidheads, with strange ideas about music they didn't quite know how to play yet.
Many people aren't well-acquainted with this primitive 1966 version of the Dead - so this is a short guide to the year's songs.

We'll start by letting Garcia tell the story from the beginning:

"I got into old-time country music...and in order to play string-band music you have to have a band, you can't play it by yourself. So I would be out recruiting musicians.... Bluegrass bands are hard to put together because you have to have really good bluegrass musicians to play, and in Palo Alto there wasn't really very many of them - not enough to keep a band going all the time.... I decided to put together a jug band, because you could have a jug band with guys that could hardly play at all.....and Weir finally had his chance to play because Weir had this uncanny ability to really play the jug.... And Pigpen, who was mostly into playing Lightnin' Hopkins and harmonica....
"[The electric band] was Pigpen's idea. He'd been pestering me for a while, he wanted me to start up an electric blues band....because in the jug band we used to do blues numbers like Jimmy Reed tunes and even played a couple of rock & roll tunes, and it was just the next step.... Theoretically it's a blues band, but the minute we get electric instruments it's a rock & roll band.... We put Pigpen on organ immediately, and he was doing most of the lead vocals at the time."
"We stole a lot of, at that time, the Kinks, and the Rolling Stones - King Bee, Red Rooster, Walkin' the Dog....we were just doing hard simple rock & roll stuff, old Chuck Berry stuff, Promised Land, Johnny B Goode - a couple of songs that I sort of adapted from jug band material. Stealin' was one of those, and that tune called Don't Ease Me In was our first single, an old ragtime pop Texas song. I don't remember a lot of the other stuff.... Oh yeah, we did It's All Over Now Baby Blue from the very beginning because it was such a pretty song. Weir used to do 'She's got everything she needs, she don't look back....'"
- from Signpost to New Space, 1971

In '64, as one McCree's player said, "Jerry was making a transition. He'd gone from old-time American music to bluegrass, and he wanted to try something different. I remember we saw the Jim Kweskin Jug Band on the Steve Allen show....and we'd heard their record, and that sounded like a lot of fun, so Jerry decided we'd get together a jug band..... When Jerry decided he wanted to do something, he always had a way of recruiting the people he needed to get it to happen."
When Garcia, Weir & Pigpen were in Mother McCree's, naturally they took many songs from the old jugbands, particularly Gus Cannon's (Viola Lee Blues, Minglewood Blues, Big Railroad Blues, Goin' to Germany) and the Memphis Jug Band (Stealin', Overseas Stomp, On the Road Again, KC Moan). Garcia brought some folk songs like Cold Rain & Snow, Deep Elem Blues, and Been All Around This World - Weir did a couple Jesse Fuller covers, Beat It On Down The Line (a song Dead fans would become all too familiar with) and Monkey & the Engineer. Pigpen, of course, contributed the blues - Little Red Rooster (Howlin' Wolf), Good Morning Little Schoolgirl (Sonny Boy Williamson), Big Boss Man (Jimmy Reed). This was rounded out with a dash of Chuck Berry songs, like Memphis.
I don't think Mother McCree's setlists are really known, some of these are probably guesses based on the songs brought to the early Dead. There is, luckily, one July 1964 Mother McCree's show that has survived on tape, with this set:
Overseas Stomp
Ain't It Crazy (The Rub)
I'm Satisfied With My Gal (Yes She Do, No She Don't)
Boodle Am Shake
My Gal
Shake That Thing
Beat It On Down The Line
Cocaine Blues
Beedle Um Bum
On The Road Again
Monkey & The Engineer
In The Jailhouse Now
Washington At Valley Forge (Crazy Words, Crazy Tune)
A lot of their jugband repertoire was shared with Jim Kweskin's Jug Band, songs like Viola Lee, Lindy, and Minglewood - in fact, at this show, seven of the songs came from Jim Kweskin's 1963 album Unblushing Brassiness! Six songs made it into the Dead's setlists - three lasting into '66, and three having to wait til the acoustic sets of 1970.
Since the McCree's set was released on CD, it's interesting to hear how different the approach is from later Dead. This is a band of traditionalists - they're trying to exactly mimic a '30s hokum band, down to the wobbly singing style, and they're pretty good at it - sometimes they sound like they're straight off a 78. It's amusing to hear, but worlds away from the creative alchemy of the Dead.
In one respect though, the band is already showing traits that we'll see in '66 and beyond. There was an aftershow interview taped with Garcia where he explains jug-band music, and talks about their major sources of material - not just early jug-band records, but also early Dixieland/New Orleans jazz, '20s/30s popular music, and "a lot of recent blues....from the last three or four years, R&B songs." He says their wide-ranging repertoire "makes it a lot more satisfying for us because it doesn't restrict us to one particular style.... We'll play the music as long as we're together.... It's fun, it's rewarding, it's great to get together. We don't expect to ever make a fortune out of this, or ever be popular or famous or worshipped...."

Having gone electric, the Warlocks played their first show at Magoo's Pizza Parlor in Menlo Park on May 5, 1965. Just a few weeks later, Phil Lesh was invited by Garcia to join the band, learning bass as he went - he's confirmed that some of the first songs he learned were I Know You Rider, King Bee, and Midnight Hour. (He also noted that at the first Warlocks show he went to, he was "blown back against the wall by the loudest music I'd ever heard.")
Back then, the Bay-area music scene that rose up in '66 hardly existed yet, and the Warlocks moved on from playing for the high-school crowd in a pizza place to playing at the In Room lounge (which in photos looks like a cafeteria!) and various bars, teen clubs, and strip-joints. Garcia later said, "The only scene then was the Hollywood hype scene, booking agents in flashy suits, gigs in booze clubs, six nights a week, five sets a night, doing all the R&B rock standards. We did it all. Then we got a job at a Belmont club and developed a whole malicious thing, playing songs louder and weirder... For those days it was loud, and for a bar it was ridiculous. People had to scream at each other to talk, and pretty soon we had driven out all the regular clientele. They'd run out clutching their ears."

The Warlocks' early electric repertoire of 1965 had some leftovers from the jugband (like Stealin' and Don't Ease Me In) - a few Chuck Berry rockers (Promised Land, Johnny B Goode) - Pigpen's blues songs (King Bee, Little Red Rooster) - and some group-sung novelty hits (Walkin' the Dog, Woolly Bully).
Quite a few of the Dead's early songs had also been covered by the Rolling Stones - Not Fade Away (Holly), Hi-Heel Sneakers, Empty Heart, Pain in My Heart (Otis Redding), I Just Want to Make Love to You (Muddy Waters), King Bee (Slim Harpo), Little Red Rooster (Howlin' Wolf), Walkin' the Dog (Rufus Thomas), It's All Over Now (Womack), Around & Around (Berry)....
This was no coincidence. The Stones were the #1 influence on American garage-bands in the mid-'60s, lots of bands wanted to sound like them - pick up any Nuggets collection and you'll find a dozen Stones wannabes under the rocks. Garcia said later, "For me, the most resonant thing was hearing the Rolling Stones play music that I'd grown up with, the Chess stuff. That was surprising because it was music that had already happened in my life, and then hearing it again was like, 'Right, that would be fun to play.' In the Grateful Dead's earliest version as a bar band, the option was to play Beatles stuff or Rolling Stones, and we always opted for whatever the Stones were doing."
Dylan's Bringing It All Back Home came out in March '65 - this was the first Dylan album that Garcia liked, and the Dead immediately took a couple songs from it. She Belongs To Me (originally sung by Weir!) would unfortunately never be caught on tape until 1985.....but Baby Blue would often recur in Dead sets over the years. (Garcia later said, "Dylan was able to tell you the truth....to talk about the changes that you'd go through, the bummers...and say it in a good way... Back in the folk music days I couldn't really dig his stuff, but on Bringing It All Back Home he was really saying something I could dig, that was relevant to what was going on in my life.")
Though Garcia had been a folk-song devotee in his pre-Dead years, this side of him disappeared once he went electric, and would only occasionally resurface in Dead shows of later years. (It's surprising how few songs from Garcia's early-'60s folk or bluegrass tapes would be picked up by the Dead - just Deep Elem Blues and, in the later acoustic sets, Rosalie McFall.)
Although Pigpen was into Lightnin' Hopkins (playing Katie Mae as early as '63), after the McCree's days he didn't play anything in this style until the acoustic sets of 1970. But in keeping with Pigpen's tastes, their repertoire was very blues-heavy. Garcia said later, "What we were playing back then was basically a harder, rhythm & blues-oriented rock & roll, especially Pigpen's stuff. We were going for a sort of Chess Records school of R&B - Howlin' Wolf & Muddy Waters, those are the records we stole a lot of our tunes from. We didn't have that midwestern authority, we weren't like the Butterfield band - but we were a funky blues band."

I suspect that some of the songs the Dead covered in the '80s (Satisfaction, Last Time, Day Tripper, Gloria), they may well have done in '65.... Other than that, we can only guess what their 1965 setlists were from what they played in 1966 (when they were constantly adding new songs). This is tricky, and often people's memories of old setlists have too much hindsight.... The Warlocks may well have played Do You Believe in Magic (by the Lovin' Spoonful), but Rock Scully's claim that they played the Beatles' Good Day Sunshine at an early Acid Test in December '65 is quite dubious, since the song wasn't released til August '66!

Our first glimpse of the band's repertoire comes with the November 1965 demo, six songs which were pretty unrepresentative - they seem to have chosen tunes that were relatively new and unique and poppy (no Stones, Berry, or blues covers!), but only two of the songs would outlast 1966.

In December '65, tired of being a bar band, the Warlocks renamed themselves the Grateful Dead and discovered the Acid Tests. (Garcia: "We were already burning out....by the time the Acid Test came to our attention.") Within a year, they'd graduated from being the Pranksters' houseband and become a fixture in the San Francisco ballroom scene. Though their place in society transformed as the society changed, and though they were zonked on acid pretty much all year round, the type of music remained a constant throughout the year - lots of poppy dance music and blues, only 'psychedelic' in spots, still very close to the garage-band bashings at the pizza parlor.

It's notable how much the early sets are dominated by blues and R&B songs - up til mid-year, jugband and blues songs were the primary sources for Dead covers, and they didn't play many originals. But in the spring, they seem to have started adding a wider variety of songs. They were quite dissatisfied with their own songs - as a result, almost all of their originals disappear from the setlists after July.
Almost all the songs are sung by Garcia or Pigpen - Weir just gets a few token shouters, but Lesh sings more than he did in later years. Fitting the times, there are lots of songs where the group sings the choruses in harmony. Pigpen plays lots more harmonica than he would later, but mainly supports the songs on a chintzy organ, which is very prominent. This helps fill out the sound (depending how loud he is), since Weir's guitar is sometimes inaudible! - it also gives the music that jaunty '60s pop-radio feel.
Garcia said later, "Pigpen was the only guy in the band who had any talent when we were starting out.... He had no discipline, but he had reams of talent.... Pigpen is what made the band work." This was in spite of Pigpen not liking rehearsals - "We had to browbeat him into being a performer." One early fan noted, "Pigpen was the only one who was really a showman. He'd get out there and work the audience and the band would be behind him...." Lesh adds, "Pig was the perfect front man for the band: intense, commanding, comforting - but I don't think he enjoyed doing that quite as much as sitting on a couch with a guitar and a jug."

It's worth mentioning that the band's sound during this year was very 'conventional' - especially in their pop songs (and they did quite a few), they fit right into the garage-band scene of the day. This wasn't a band with an original 'voice' yet - their main strengths were Garcia's frenetic guitar-playing, Pigpen's talented blues vocals, and their willingness to practice endlessly. At the start of the year, they're still learning their instruments and how to play together, and by the end, their playing is much tighter and more expressive. There are still just a few songs where we can glimpse the breakthrough that would happen in '67.
But there is huge improvement in-between, and a huge number of songs as the newly born Dead try all sorts of things, hanging onto some, getting rid of others. There are almost 70 songs in this list, and these are just the ones caught on tape - a far bigger repertoire than they'd play for many years to come! As we might expect, many of their covers are of recent songs (dating from '56-'65) - though we might distinguish between the really 'new' '64/'65 songs that they picked up, and the '50s songs they would've liked from their teens. What's interesting, given Garcia's folk roots, is that before '56 we suddenly jump back into the '20s and '30s as the most frequent time period for their cover songs. (Which also goes to show how divorced rock music was from the mainstream white music of the '40s and '50s!)

For those interested in the origins of the Dead's songs, here are a couple (very incomplete) pages on their roots, with a few leads -
It would be good if a more comprehensive "Dead roots" site could be written someday (if there isn't one already). Blair Jackson's roots researches, for instance, are not online. In the meantime, there are a few sites that list all of the Dead's songs along with the original cover versions - deadlists for one, but also:

There are some songs we know they must have played in 1966, but don't have any tapes of. It's too bad She Belongs To Me never made it onto tape ("Bob used to croon it," Garcia said in April '67). Garcia said they played Johnny B Goode and Little Red Rooster in the early days, so it's strange not to hear them on any '66 tapes. There are some songs the Dead revived in later days that they must have done early on - like Gloria (Them), Searchin' (the Coasters), and It's All Over Now (Womack/the Stones) - but not in any shows we have.
However - the Dead played over a hundred shows this year - we only have fourteen and a few fragments on tape. Many Acid Test tapes disappeared in the havoc - what happened to Bear's stash of journal tapes can only be imagined - he left the band after the July shows, and after that there were only a few stray tapes made by theater-owners. So, with almost 90% of the year missing, our view of the year is very limited. (The situation in 1967 is even worse, with only about a dozen tapes remaining from a year with over 120 shows!)

These are all the songs the Dead did in 1966 that we have on tape, along with the original artists and the dates performed. There are a couple abbreviations:
RC stands for the Rare Cuts & Oddities CD - these are mostly studio rehearsals.
??/66 is the mystery-reels collection from early '66.

The Dead wrote this song inspired by a newspaper headline about Bear: "LSD Millionaire Arrested". This is a very poppy song, sung by Pigpen. Apparently new in December, it was recorded for the first album and then dropped, despite being one of their catchiest tunes.
BEAT IT ON DOWN THE LINE (Jesse Fuller 1961) - ??/66 (two versions) ; 3-19 ; 5-19 ; 7-16 ; 7-29 ; 7-30 ; 11-19 ; 12-1
Weir did this early and did it often. It never changed.
BETTY & DUPREE (traditional) - RC demo ; 12-1
A distant ancestor of Dupree's Diamond Blues - Pigpen & Jorma Kaukonen recorded a version in 1964. Garcia sings this slow ballad with lots of guitar tremolo.
BIG BOSS MAN (Jimmy Reed 1960) - 7-3 ; 7-16 ; 7-17 ; 7-30 ; 11-29 ; 12-1
A Pigpen strut. The Dead always did this the same way. (Although after '67, it's unheard until June '69.)
BIG BOY PETE (Olympics 1960) - 11-29 ; 12-1
These early performances are done just the same as the Dead's '69 and '70 versions - though with less of a wink.
BIG RAILROAD BLUES (Cannon's Jug Stompers 1928) - RC
This gives us an idea what this song sounded like in Mother McCree's - it's played jugband-style, Garcia singing and Pigpen on harmonica, very similar to On the Road Again or Stealin'. When the Dead started doing it again acoustically in 1970, it was with a very different guitar arrangement.
CAN'T COME DOWN (GD) - 11-3-65
Garcia sings and Pigpen plays harmonica in this brisk original song with suspiciously Dylanesque lyrics by Garcia.
CARDBOARD COWBOY (GD) - 6/66 studio ; 7-16 ; 7-30
Lesh wrote and sang this song, which is interesting because you can tell it's a Lesh composition - it has that over-arranged, awkward feel common in his songs. The band called it "The Monster" because it was so hard to play! Lesh has said this song was so godawful he can't listen to it....the performances sound good, though. One time Weir announces the song as "No Left Turn Unstoned".
CAUTION (GD) - 11-3-65 ; 1-8 ; RC 3/12 ; "2-25" [same as RC]
A copy of Them's Mystic Eyes (with some Pigpen mojo lyrics added), the two early live versions are very similar to how this was done in later years (albeit with more harmonica). They're able to stretch out longer than they could in the Nov '65 demo, and it's a shame we don't have any live versions between March '66 and June '67.
COLD RAIN & SNOW (traditional) - "2-25" ; 3-25 ; 5-19 ; 6/66 studio ; 7-16 ; 7-17 ; 7-29 ; 11-19 ; 11-29 ; 12-1
This old folk song was done by many bluegrass groups - the Dead apparently took it from Obray Ramsey's 1961 version, but considerably altered the arrangement, with a bouncy riff and swirling circling-note break. These early versions are done much faster than in later years - it was played through '67, but then dropped until May '69.
CREAM PUFF WAR (GD) - RC demo ; 5-19 ; 7-16 ; 7-17 ; 7-30 ; 11-19 ; 12-1 - also in early '67, 3-18 and the 4/67 TV show
Easily their most successful original song from '66, this was the only one to make it onto their first album. With lots of live versions, it's interesting to see how it progresses, with the early versions short & clunky, then late in the year it's much faster with the solo flying way out. Garcia said twenty years later that this song was "totally embarrassing. I'd just as soon everybody forgot about it."
DANCIN' IN THE STREETS (Martha & the Vandellas 1964) - 7-3 ; 7-16 ; 7-17 ; 7-29 ; 9-16 ; 11-19 ; 12-1
Weir is no Martha, but this cover was a nice addition to their July sets, and by the end of the year it had become one of their big jam-songs, going way out in the solo.
DEATH DON'T HAVE NO MERCY (Gary Davis 1960) - 1-8 ; 3-19 ; 12-1
The Dead's first big slow blues song, this never changed much over the years. Seems pretty heavy to lay down at an Acid Trip.... A basic track was recorded for the first album, but the song eventually made it onto Live/Dead.
DEEP ELEM BLUES (traditional) - 12-1
The one performance we have has a more strident, rocked-up arrangement than when it resurfaced in the 1970 acoustic sets. (Nice ending, too!) This folk standard was first recorded in the '30s - there are also a couple tapes of Garcia playing this in '62/'63.
DON'T EASE ME IN (traditional) - ??/66 ; 6/66 studio ; 7-16
A fun song, if you don't hear it too often.... It was dropped after this until the 1970 acoustic sets. The Dead probably took this song from Henry Thomas' '20s recordings, which are highly recommended for anyone interested in American music.
DON'T MESS UP A GOOD THING (Fontana Bass/Bobby McClure 1965) - RC ("live 7-3")
Pigpen sings this brisk R&B pop trot. The band sings "Good thing, good thing...."
DOWN SO LONG (GD) - 11-29 ; 12-1
Sounds like a traditional pop song, but apparently it's a short-lived Dead original sung by Garcia, inspired by the Richard Farina novel. (The extra ending is a nice touch.) Deadlists says an instrumental version was recorded in the studio for the first album sessions in Jan '67.
EARLY MORNING RAIN (Gordon Lightfoot) - 11-3-65 ; 11-29
We have two versions a year apart, with Lesh singing - the second one is much faster & arranged differently, but I think the first demo has a more effective mood. This song was covered by many artists in 1965, including Judy Collins, the Kingston Trio, and Ian & Sylvia.
EMPTY HEART (Rolling Stones 1964) - RC
Pigpen & Garcia sing the only Dead version of this Stones song. This is actually one of their hottest early performances, with a long guitar/harmonica duel. (Try listening to this back-to-back with Keep Rolling By for a twin blast of Stones-drenched Dead.)
GANGSTER OF LOVE (Johnny "Guitar" Watson 1957) - RC ("live 7-3")
Garcia sings this swaggering blues song, trying to sound like Pigpen.
GOOD LOVIN' (Olympics 1965 / Young Rascals 1966) - RC demo ; 5-19
Pigpen sings this breakneck cover, which for some reason was dropped almost immediately. It's pretty different from the later versions - more brutish, lacking the intro riff, and having more backing vocals. When they reintroduced it in May '69, Garcia sang it for a while.
GOOD MORNING LITTLE SCHOOLGIRL (Sonny Boy Williamson 1937) - ??/66 (as a medley) ; 7-16 ; 7-29 ; 7-30 ; 9-16 ; 11-29
This song had been a standard since the '30s, covered by many blues artists. It was perfect for the lascivious Pigpen, though in these early versions the band's playing is noticeably stiffer and less rhythmic than it would be by '68.
HE WAS A FRIEND OF MINE (Mark Spoelstra 1965) - 7-3 ; 7-16 ; 11-19
The Dead try out their harmonies. This was actually a recent song, not a standard but (as common in the folk world) based on an old blues melody - there were many '60s covers, including Dave van Ronk & the Byrds (1965). After '67, the song was pretty rare in Dead shows until April '69, when they revived it for about a year with a much-improved guitar part.
HEADS UP (Freddie King 1961) - 3-19
Garcia vents his Freddie King fixation - but it would be years before another King instrumental would be heard on a Dead stage. This is rather bland, but typical of the instrumentals played for dancehalls back then.
HEY LITTLE ONE (Dorsey Burnette 1960) - RC 3/12 ; "2-25" [same as RC] ; 3-25 ; 7-29
Garcia sings this intensely brooding romantic ballad, which isn't quite like anything else the Dead did.
HI-HEEL SNEAKERS (Tommy Tucker 1964) - 11-19
Garcia sings this light shuffle, which was already a standard by '66. He revived it for a bit in August '69.
I JUST WANT TO MAKE LOVE TO YOU (Muddy Waters 1957) - 11-29
The Dead give this a very fast treatment, forsaking the slinky approach. Written by Willie Dixon, this was one of his instant classics, covered by Chuck Berry '59, the Rolling Stones '64, and many others. (The Dead apparently didn't play this again until 1984!)
I KNOW YOU RIDER (traditional) - 11-3-65 ; ??/66 ; "2-25" ; 3-19 ; 5-19 ; 6/66 studio ; 7-3 ; 7-16 ; 7-30 ; 9-16 ; 12-1
The Dead's most successful conversion of an old folk/blues into a Byrds-style pop song. An instrumental was recorded for the first album in Jan '67, but unfortunately not finished; and for whatever reason they dropped it until Sept '69.
I'M A HOG FOR YOU BABY (Coasters 1959) - 1-8 ; 3-25
A light, catchy song. The first version is somewhat marred by Prankster chatter & mix changes. The only later version was on 4-6-71.
IN THE PINES (traditional) - 7-16
Garcia sings this old blues tune (which had many folk & bluegrass variants). It's odd they didn't do this more often - there are a couple tapes of Garcia playing this song in 1964.
IT HURTS ME TOO (Elmore James 1958) - 5-19 ; 9-16 ; 12-1
Soulful blues from Pigpen, sounding exactly like it did til '72.
IT'S A SIN (Jimmy Reed 1959) - ??/66 ; 3-19 ; 5-19
Garcia sings this blues with Pigpen on harmonica. He kept a fondness for this song, doing it much the same way when they picked it up again in April '69.
IT'S ALL OVER NOW, BABY BLUE (Bob Dylan 1965) - 5-19 ; 7-16 ; 7-17 ; 7-30 ; 9-16
The Warlocks picked up this Dylan song right away, and it was still going strong through '66, sounding much like it did in later years. (Garcia mentioned this in April '67 as the Dylan song they were still doing live, but we don't have any more performances until April '69.)
The Birth of the Dead CD offered a big surprise - an unknown original Dead song, sung by everyone and including a Pigpen rap, from an unknown July '66 show. It's a good one, resembling some lost early Stones show-closer. (Actually, the riff was almost certainly developed from the Stones' Empty Heart!)
KING BEE (Slim Harpo 1957) - 1-8; RC 3/12 ; "2-25" [same as RC] ; 7-17 ; 7-29 ; 11-19
Pigpen is the King Bee. The Dead played this song well early on (it was one of their first blues covers), and the arrangement stayed the same for years, though we don't have any more performances until Feb '69. An instrumental track was recorded for the first album in Jan '67.
LINDY (OVERSEAS STOMP) (Memphis Jug Band) - 9-16 ; 11-29 ; 12-1 - also a brief fragment from 8-4-67
A carryover from the jugband days, the Dead even recorded this charmless tune for their first album, Garcia singing with his Dupree's smirk. It's surprising to see it still being played in August '67!
ME & MY UNCLE (John Phillips) - 11-29 ; 12-1 (two versions)
Judy Collins covered this in 1964, but it was probably widespread in the folk circuit. Weir's early versions are very different from how it developed - more jammed-out and desperate-sounding. After early '67, it disappeared until April '69.
MIDNIGHT HOUR (Wilson Pickett 1965) - ??/66 ; 3-19 ; 9-16 ; 11-19
Pigpen doesn't seem like the type to wait.... But this is a very interesting tune to follow through the early years - it's the first song the Dead used to enter into a long dance jam, and we can hear them get much better by the end of the year.
The Dead get spooky and want to bend your mind..... Garcia and Lesh cowrote and harmonize. The only original song from the Nov '65 demo that we have a live version of (not very different). Another studio version was played on the Taper's Section (see below).
MY OWN FAULT (BB King 1965) - 12-1
A rather dreary slow blues, done once with a guest singer, and the Dead doing their best to sound like the Butterfield Blues Band.
NEW MINGLEWOOD BLUES (Cannon's Jug Band 1930) - 5-19 ; 7-16 ; 7-29 ; 12-1
Weir's hollers make this one painful to listen to. Was it this noisy in Mother McCree's? After '66, we don't have any more performances until April '69.
NEW ORLEANS (Gary Bonds 1960) - ??/66
As the source notes say, this is "sort of an attempt"....this isn't an actual version, mostly just Pigpen improvising over a drumbeat. (They probably did do it sometime in '66, since they revived it a few times in '69/70. See Twist & Shout.)
NEXT TIME YOU SEE ME (Junior Parker 1957) - "2-25" ; 3-19 ; 3-25 ; 7-3 ; 7-16 ; 7-30 ; 12-1
A Pigpen strut. The Dead always did this the same way. (After early '67 though, it was apparently dropped until September '69.)
NOBODY'S FAULT BUT MINE (Blind Willie Johnson '20s) - 7-16
Garcia sings an old favorite of his. Though there's just one '66 version, the Dead weren't through with it....I continue the story in my 'thematic jams' post.
NOT FADE AWAY (Buddy Holly 1957) - RC demo
Our only '66 version is clearly not taken from Holly's original, but the Stones' 1964 version, done at a quick pace with Pigpen on harmonica - in fact, it's played much like Caution, dark and shamanic. It's a mystery why it took the Dead so many years to adopt this song (after a couple false starts, not until Dec '69).
ON THE ROAD AGAIN (Memphis Jug Band 1928) - "2-25" ; 12-1
One of those authentic jugband classics that didn't make it out of '66, done with surprising faithfulness - Garcia singing, Pigpen blowing harmonica. The Dead did pick it up again in the revivalist 1980 acoustic sets, though.
ONE KIND FAVOR (SEE THAT MY GRAVE IS KEPT CLEAN) (Blind Lemon Jefferson 1928) - 3-19 ; 7-29 ; 11-29 ; 12-1
Garcia sings this blues song, which had already been a standard since the '20s. It sounds a lot like Death Don't Have No Mercy, which may be why it was dropped in '67 - perhaps one death-blues was enough!
ONLY TIME IS NOW (GD) - 11-3-65
A unique Dead original, Lesh singing lead while the others back him. It sounds like an attempt to write a Zombies-style pop-radio song.
PAIN IN MY HEART (Otis Redding 1963) - 7-16 ; 11-19
Pigpen channels Otis.
PROMISED LAND (Chuck Berry 1964) - RC demo
A surprise - Garcia sings this one, the only known version until May '71.
SAME THING (Muddy Waters 1965) - "9-16" ; 11-19 ; 11-29
Another Willie Dixon song - this is possibly the Dead's finest blues. The way they slip into a jazzy jam is especially impressive - similar to the tempo changes in Schoolgirl, but better-done, and unusually advanced for '66. So it's a shame that after 3-18-67, the only later Pigpen version we have was on 12-31-71.
SICK & TIRED (Fats Domino 1958) - RC ; 5-19
Pigpen sings this strong R&B complaint. "I'm sick an' tired of foolin' aroun' with you!"
SILVER THREADS & GOLDEN NEEDLES (Wanda Jackson 1956) - RC demo ; 5-19
One of the few 'country' tunes of the early Dead - Weir sings this, with Lesh doing the nice harmony. It's surprising we don't have more early versions since this one's very strong, sounding like a pop single, but they dropped it until April '69. This was covered by lots of artists including the Springfields ('62) & the Everly Brothers ('63).
SITTIN' ON TOP OF THE WORLD (Mississippi Sheiks 1930) - 5-19 ; 7-3 ; 7-16 ; 7-30
Another of the Dead's first country covers - and a rare example of later versions being played about as fast as in '66! There's one lone example from '68, then they started doing it again in April '69. This is one of those 'traditional' songs that became standard in both slow blues & fast bluegrass variants - Garcia got it from Bill Monroe's ('57) & Carl Perkins' ('58) versions
SMOKESTACK LIGHTNIN' (Howlin' Wolf 1956) - 11-19
A great live exploration of this hypnotic blues groove. This is one song Pigpen never brought out too often - we only have one version per year until '69! There is also a very nice, though short, undated studio version (see below).
SOMETHING ON YOUR MIND (Big Jay McNeely 1959) - 11-29 ; 12-1
A nice, slow & soulful Pigpen talking-blues.
STANDING ON THE CORNER (GD) - RC demo ; 5-19 ; 7-16 ; 7-30
One of the few early Dead originals we have several performances of (usually they quickly abandoned their own songs in disgust) - Garcia sings this snotty teen-angst song.
STEALIN' (Memphis Jug Band 1928) - RC demo ; "2-25" ; 3-25 ; 6/66 studio ; 7-17 ; 7-30 ; "9-16" ; "10-7" ; 11-29
The Dead liked this jugband song and did it often in '66, but it disappeared come '67. Garcia sings, with Weir on harmony.
TASTEBUD (COME BACK BABY) (GD)- ??/66 ; 5-19 ; 6/66 studio
A good Pigpen blues original, unique to '66. They remade the Scorpio recording for the first album, but the song then disappeared. Perhaps the best version was played on the Taper's Section (see below).
TWIST & SHOUT (Isley Brothers 1962) - ??/66
This was an instant rock classic, done by many and perhaps already considered an 'oldie' by '66. Pigpen leads this version, which doesn't stick too close to the original - along with New Orleans, at this Acid Test he was looking for songs where he could sing "yeah!" a lot to soothe an acid-fried audience. Someone bleats tunelessly on harmonica. (A possible instrumental version was played on the Tapers' Section - see below.)
VIOLA LEE BLUES (Cannon's Jug Band 1928) - 1/66 studio rehearsal ; ??/66 (three versions) ; 3-19 ; 5-19 ; 7-3 ; 7-16 ; 7-30 ; 11-29 ; 12-1
A dark jugband song transformed beyond recognition. Early versions are pretty weak, but by the end of the year they're close to getting it down.
WALKIN' THE DOG (Rufus Thomas 1963) - RC demo
Weir leads this rockin' novelty, which is the only known '66 version. It resurfaces a couple times in 1970, then disappears til 1984!
WHO DO YOU LOVE (Bo Diddley 1957)
The only '66 version is a studio recording - see below. This song wouldn't surface in Dead shows until a couple snatches in '70 & '72.
YONDER'S WALL - aka Look Over Yonder Wall (Arthur Crudup 1960) - 12-1
This was a blues standard done by many bands (like Elmore James, Junior Parker 1962, Paul Butterfield 1965) - the Dead did it with a harmonica-playing singer who sounds a lot like Butterfield. (Surprisingly, there is another quasi-Dead version - from the 10-10-68 Hartbeats show, sung by another harmonica player!)
YOU DON'T HAVE TO ASK (GD) - ??/66 ; 3-25 ; 5-19 ; 6/66 studio ; 7-16 ; 7-29 ; 7-30
One of the Dead's best early songs, they did this quite a few times. Unusually, Weir sings lead - live, the ending could feature a blazing Garcia solo while Weir shouted "you already know!" They seem to have dropped this after July, though, as they purged original songs from their sets.
Possibly the Dead called this song "Otis On A Shakedown Cruise".
YOU DON'T LOVE ME (Willie Cobb 1961) - ??/66 ; 12-1
First done in a medley with Schoolgirl, with Garcia singing. The Dead probably took this from Junior Wells' 1965 version. The Allmans did much better with this song.
YOU SEE A BROKEN HEART (GD) - RC demo ; 3-19
Pigpen wrote this song, though it sounds like an R&B cover. It's catchy in the '50s style, and the back-and-forth vocals are pretty cute.

And, though we don't have any tapes from '66, I should mention the Dead's cover of Walkin' Blues (a standard originated by Son House & Robert Johnson in the '30s) - we only have a fragment of this, played in an April '67 TV show which compared different San Francisco bands. (Deadbase asserts this song was played at the 10/7/66 show.)

Blues Jam (with Jorma and Jack) - ??/66 (Self-explanatory.)
Slow Blues Instrumental - 3-19
I don't think this has been identified. If an original, it's not very original - mainly a chance for Garcia to lay down some stinging guitar licks.
Jam - 3-25
This is more of a Twist-like dancefloor groove than a jam. Interestingly, it's also the last instrumental the Dead played until '68.

There is a handful of studio rehearsals from early '66 available on the Taper's Section at dead.net - presumably from the same pile of Bear's unlabeled reels that was used for the Rare Cuts & Oddities CD. It would be nice if Lemieux could share the rest of what's on these reels, but that's unlikely. In the meantime, we have these -
"Tuning/Blues Jam" - 1-1-07
The "tuning" label doesn't seem too promising - actually, it's one of the best things played all year. It turns out to be a full-blown Space! - if this bit of music were plopped into a show from ten or twenty years later, it wouldn't seem out of place at all. There's nothing else like it from '66 (and not much in '67) - this is True Primal Dead. Sadly, it cuts into a dull blues jam.
Tastebud, Mindbender, BIODTL - 2-5-07
The Mindbender is about the same as the 11/65 demo, but the Tastebud is surprising since it sounds much stronger than the live versions from early in the year, with a smoking Garcia solo. Though the session is tentatively dated 2/6, I could swear Garcia doesn't have that guitar tone until late '66.
"Jam>Good Lovin' Jam>Jam" - 2-23-09
From a 2/23/66 session, we have a mislabeled jam! It starts with a blues jam, then drifts into what is unmistakably Ritchie Valens' La Bamba, then heads into another blues jam. Though the chords are much the same, I don't think this is much like the early Good Lovin's. On the other hand, it could be a Twist & Shout jam since it sounds exactly like the Twist & Shout from the '66 mystery reels. La Bamba was played again on 11-11-70, and revived in '87.
Other '66 studio selections (NFA, Creampuff) are from the Rare Cuts CD.

There is also a stray, undated Smokestack Lightning (studio '66/67?) - http://www.archive.org/details/gd1967-xx-xx.sbd.studio.81259.flac16

And, though for some reason it's not on the Archive, there is a '66 studio version of Who Do You Love with Pigpen singing, which gets pretty wild and is fully developed at six minutes. It actually sounds quite a bit like the Not Fade Away rehearsal. (Deadlists notes, "This is often listed as 3/6/66 or March '66. The actual date is unknown.")

A number of songs were recorded for the first album in January '67 but dropped - a few of these outtakes were released on the CD reissue:
Alice D Millionaire (aka No Time To Cry) ;
Lindy (Overseas Stomp) ;
Tastebud (aka Come Back Baby) ;
Death Don't Have No Mercy (inst.)

The "12-5-66" studio session on the Archive actually has a few instrumentals from the first album sessions in January '67 - Minglewood Blues, Cream Puff War, Sitting On Top Of The World, I Know You Rider, Cold Rain & Snow, and King Bee (which is mistakenly listed as The Same Thing). Since these are all '66 regulars, this might as well be a '66 studio session!

Only two new songs were considered for the album - the Bonnie Dobson cover Morning Dew (first known show 1/14/67), and Golden Road, which was quickly written that January to be the single. Golden Road didn't last long in live shows, and we only have two performances from 3/18 and "5/5/67". Morning Dew proved more endurable.
Aside from these two songs, only one '66 original made it onto the album (Cream Puff War), and six covers (BIODTL, Cold Rain, Minglewood, Schoolgirl, SoToW, and Viola Lee). The excellent 3-18-67 show (from the day after the album release) shows how far the Dead had advanced in just a few months - soon they would start writing jam-centered songs that would transform their music and leave their 1966 repertoire in the dust....

The early part of 1966 has many shows which are misdated or have unknown dates. I'm not going to try to clear this up - it's impossible to settle whether some half-hour fragment comes from March or May or some other month - so I'll accept the common dates for most of these shows. There are a large number of sources with conflicting dates, but this is a complete listing of what's available for 1966 - the rest of the Archive sources are all duplicates. (And there's one fake, the "10/31/66" jam, which is worth hearing anyway.) Many of deadlist's entries for this year have not been updated.

11/3/65 -
Early Morning Rain
I Know You Rider
Mindbender (Confusion's Prince)
The Only Time Is Now
Can't Come Down
NOTE: Studio demo recorded as the "Emergency Crew", just before they found the name "Grateful Dead". Available on Birth of the Dead.

1/66 Viola Lee Blues rehearsal -

Deadbase has a couple setlists for untaped shows in January '66 -

Mindbender, On the Road Again, She Belongs to Me, I'll Go Crazy, Can't Come Down, Death Don't Have No Mercy, Parchman Farm, Midnight Hour, The Only Time Is Now, Early Morning Rain, It's All Over Now Baby Blue - Deadbase claim for 1/7/66
Don't know how they could've gotten an accurate setlist for such an early show, but this certainly looks plausible. For a couple original songs from their Nov '65 demo, this is the only known live appearance. She Belongs To Me is, sadly, the last appearance for 19 years. I'll Go Crazy is the James Brown song - Parchman Farm may be Bukka White's or Mose Allison's - what could they have sounded like?

All of My Love, Hog For You Baby - Deadbase claim for 1/13/66
"All Of My Love" may be Buddy Holly's Oh Boy ("All of my love, all of my kisses...."), which Weir pulled out a few times in later years.
This seems like a short setlist, but perhaps the Dead took too much acid that day and fell apart?

Good Morning Little Schoolgirl>You Don't Love Me>Good Morning Little Schoolgirl // -
This is on the mystery-reels set, but I single this out partly because it's ubiquitous on '66 tapes - practically every date has this medley as filler, and the true date is unknown (could be February, or April) - and partly because it's the first known Dead sandwich. They were doing some segues in '66 (for instance, Caution>Death Don't on 1/8 or King Bee>Caution on 3/12) - but here, the transition in and out of You Don't Love Me in the middle of Schoolgirl, though not skillful, is one of the few hints of the later Dead in early '66. What's also interesting is that both of these songs were on Junior Wells' 1965 album Hoodoo Man Blues, which Garcia admired.

Assorted ??/66 Reels -
Possibly 2/12/66:
Viola Lee Blues
Don't Ease Me In
"Longshoreman's Hall 1st Night":
Beat It On Down The Line
You Don't Love Me>Schoolgirl //
Unlabeled Reel:
Pigpen Raps>
New Orleans (sort of an attempt)
/Twist and Shout
"Longshoreman's Hall 3rd Night":
//It's A Sin
Viola Lee Blues
Midnight Hour
Beat It On Down The Line
Blues Jam (with Jorma and Jack) //
Pauley Ballroom #2 (no date):
//You Don't Have To Ask
Viola Lee Blues
I Know You Rider
Midnight Hour (plug pulled)
NOTE: This set added a lot to our knowledge of early '66. For instance, Pigpen's "who cares" rap had circulated by itself for a long time - he soothes a freaked-out lady in the audience by summoning up a gospel vibe. And now that we have the complete reel, we can hear that after that, he does a little medley of songs where he can sing "yeah, yeah" to everyone like a blues preacher, keeping things under control.
http://www.archive.org/details/gd1966-XX-XX.sbd.GEMS.81254.flac16 - ??/66

1/8/66 -
I'm A King Bee
Hog For You Baby
Caution (Do Not Stop On Tracks) >
Death Don't Have No Mercy
NOTE: Also includes much Prankster madness. This is taken from a video soundtrack.

"2/25/66" -
On The Road Again
Next Time You See Me
I Know You Rider
Hey Little One
Cold Rain & Snow
King Bee >
Stealin' //
NOTE - the actual date for this is 3/12/66. Also circulates as Gans' "6/15/66" file.

3/19/66 -
/Viola Lee Blues
/One Kind Favor
Know You Rider
You See A Broken Heart
It's A Sin //
Beat It On Down The Line
Heads Up
Next Time You See Me
Slow R & B Instrumental
/Death Don't Have No Mercy
Midnight Hour //
NOTE - Lots of PA trouble in this show - this early, the Dead are already hounded by equipment trouble! Almost every song is blues or R&B.

3/25/66 -
Hey Little One
Hog For You Baby
You Don't Have To Ask
Cold Rain And Snow
Next Time You See Me //
NOTE - Pigpen's organ is especially loud at this show.

5/19/66 -
Beat It On Down The Line
Standing On The Corner
It Hurts Me Too
Viola Lee Blues
I Know You Rider
It's A Sin
Sick And Tired
Cream Puff War //
Sittin' On Top Of The World
Minglewood Blues
Cold Rain And Snow
Silver Threads And Golden Needles
It's All Over Now, Baby Blue
Good Lovin'
You Don't Have To Ask

6/66 Scorpio Sessions -
I Know You Rider
Don't Ease Me In
You Don't Have To Ask
Cardboard Cowboy
Cold Rain And Snow
NOTE - The studio Cardboard Cowboy was in the deleted Archive 6/66 studio sessions, but not released on Birth of the Dead - however, it was released on the Searching for the Sound bonus CD, complete with comments from Lesh!
It's interesting that the Dead decided to release Stealin' and Don't Ease Me In as their first single - a clear nod to their jugband roots, but leaving more catchy songs in the can. This may have been a compromise, due to their unhappiness with the sessions. As the producer noted, "It was an effort to get out of the zone of indecision.... The early Dead was trying to find themselves in a sense and get a product out when Phil wanted to do one thing and Jerry wanted to do another... So it was frustrating for everybody, but we had to get something finished."
After the very limited release, the band talked about the single. Garcia: "We never got in on the mixing of it and we didn't really like the cuts and the performances were bad and the recordings were bad and everything else was bad so we didn't want it out.... It doesn't sound like us.... It's not that bad, but - " Pigpen: "Bullshit." Weir: "Go burn it."
http://www.archive.org/details/gd66-06-xx.sbd.vernon.9513.sbeok.shnf - 6/66 Scorpio Studio Outtakes used to be here

7/3/66 -
Dancin' In The Street
I Know You Rider //
He Was A Friend Of Mine
Next Time You See Me
Viola Lee Blues
Big Boss Man
Sittin' On Top Of The World /
http://www.archive.org/details/gd66-07-03.sbd.unknown.40.sbeok.shnf (note that the track listing isn't right, but the music is)

7/16/66 -
/ I Know You Rider
Big Boss Man
Standing On The Corner
Beat It On Down The Line
In The Pines
Cardboard Cowboy
Nobody's Fault But Mine
Next Time You See Me
He Was A Friend Of Mine
Cream Puff War
Viola Lee Blues
Don't Ease Me In
Pain In My Heart
Minglewood Blues
Sittin' On Top Of The World
You Don't Have To Ask
Cold Rain And Snow
Good Morning Little Schoolgirl
It's All Over Now Baby Blue
Dancin' In The Streets //
NOTE: The majority of the live tracks on Birth of the Dead are from this show.

7/17/66 -
// Big Boss Man
Cold Rain And Snow
It's All Over Now Baby Blue
Cream Puff War
King Bee
Dancin' In The Streets //
NOTE: There's a lot of date confusion in July. As Charlie Miller says, "This is the complete 7/17/66. What was earlier had as 7/17/66 is really part of 7/16/66." All the other Archive copies of "7/17", and the deadlists listing, are just the incomplete first set of 7/16. Also, the Vernon "7/1/66" file (in deadlists as 7/??/66) is actually another copy of 7/17.

7/29/66 -
Dancin' In The Street
Cold Rain and Snow
King Bee
One Kind Favor
You Don't Have To Ask
Hey Little One
Beat It On Down The Line
Good Morning Little Schoolgirl
New Minglewood Blues
NOTE - The Gans and Vernon files are incomplete copies of 7/30. Lesh called this "one of the worst performances I can remember...."

7/30/66 -
Standing On The Corner
I Know You Rider
Next Time You See Me
Sitting On Top Of The World
You Don't Have To Ask
Big Boss Man
Cardboard Cowboy
Baby Blue
Cream Puff War
Viola Lee Blues
Beat It On Down The Line
Schoolgirl //
NOTE - The Vernon file is a very incomplete copy of 7/29.

9/16/66 -
I Know You Rider
It Hurts Me Too
It's All Over Now, Baby Blue
Good Morning Little Schoolgirl
Dancin' In The Street
Midnight Hour
Stealin' &
Same Thing (from the Matrix, unknown date)
NOTE - The playing in this show is a quantum leap ahead of the July shows. Apparently the rest of the Avalon tapes were erased after the shady LP releases of this tape in '73.

10/7/66 -
Deadbase claims: Stealin', Don't Ease Me In, Cold Rain, Cream Puff War, Walkin' Blues.
This is likely more accurate than our tape, which has these songs -
Cream Puff War
Good Morning Little Schoolgirl
Stealin' /
This is a fake; the Creampuff and Schoolgirl are actually from 7/16/66; Stealin' hasn't been placed.
http://www.archive.org/details/gd66-10-07.sbd.unknown.14102.sbeok.shnf (if you want to check....)

11/19/66 -
Cold Rain And Snow
Hi-Heel Sneakers
Pain In My Heart
Beat It On Down The Line
Cream Puff War
Same Thing
He Was A Friend Of Mine
Dancin' In The Street //
Smokestack Lightnin'
King Bee
Midnight Hour
NOTE - A blues-drenched show, dominated by Pigpen and some incredible jams.

11/29/66 -
Me And My Uncle
Same Thing
Big Boy Pete
One Kind Favor
Early Morning Rain
Cold Rain And Snow
Viola Lee Blues
Down So Long
Something On Your Mind
Good Morning Little Schoolgirl
I Just Want To Make Love To You
NOTE: These two Matrix shows have rather poor sound, due to a burnt-out tapedeck. Matrix owner Peter Abram said, "The heads were worn out on my machine. The tapes sounded great over the headphones, but when I played them back between sets, I knew something was wrong."

12/1/66 -
Minglewood Blues
Betty And Dupree
Next Time You See Me
I Know You Rider
Big Boss Man
One Kind Favor
Alice D. Millionaire
Cream Puff War
You Don't Love Me
Beat It On Down The Line
It Hurts Me Too
On The Road Again
Yonder's Wall
My Own Fault
Down So Long
Cold Rain And Snow
Viola Lee Blues
Deep Elem Blues
Something On Your Mind
Big Boy Pete
Death Don't Have No Mercy
Dancin' In The Street
Me And My Uncle

RARE CUTS & ODDITIES - Miscellaneous Early '66
Walking the Dog
You See a Broken Heart
Promised Land
Good Lovin'
Standing on the Corner
Cream Puff War
Betty & Dupree
Silver Threads & Golden Needles
Not Fade Away
Big Railroad Blues
Sick & Tired
Empty Heart
Gangster of Love 7/3
Don't Mess Up a Good Thing 7/3
Hey Little One 3/12
King Bee 3/12
Caution 3/12
NOTE: These are selections from a box of Bear's unlabeled reels. Apparently the band taped many studio demos and rehearsals in '66 - where and why, we don't know. The rest of the reels' contents are unknown outside the Vault, as far as I know.

BIRTH OF THE DEAD - LIVE JULY 1966 - I think most of these are from 7/16.
Viola Lee Blues - Don't Ease Me In - Pain In My Heart - Sittin' On Top of the World - It's All Over Now Baby Blue - King Bee - Big Boss Man - Standing on the Corner - In the Pines - Nobody's Fault But Mine - Next Time You See Me - One Kind Favor - He Was A Friend Of Mine - Keep Rolling By (this is the only one not on circ. 7/66 tapes)
NOTE: This was a somewhat disappointing selection....

SO MANY ROADS (box set)
On The Road Again - 3/12 ("from unlabeled reel")
You Don't Have To Ask - 7/16
Cream Puff War - 7/16
I Know You Rider - 9/16
Same Thing - 3/18/67

And finally, some last words -

"I'd never heard anything like it. Garcia was sort of frightening with that cosmic electric intensity he had then.... The music was scary. Pushing me to the edge. The sound of Garcia's guitar was like the claws of a tiger.... I thought to myself, 'These guys are going to be greater than the Beatles someday.'" - Bear, on first seeing the Dead at an Acid Test, December 1965

"I don't believe the live sound, the live excitement, can be recorded." - Garcia, December 1966

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Poster: jessandra Date: Jan 4, 2010 2:20pm
Forum: GratefulDead Subject: Re: The Dead's 1966 Songs

Thanks LIA,

I just love your essays and the links and it'll take me another day to get through them all ;-)

Great stuff and much appreciated!!

Does anything from Jerry and Sara exist?

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Poster: user unknown Date: Jan 4, 2010 3:09pm
Forum: GratefulDead Subject: Re: The Dead's 1966 Songs

"Does anything from Jerry and Sara exist? "

At least one show circulates, 5/4/63. It is from The Tangent in Palo Alto and was reportedly a KFOG FM broadcast. Most of the uploads are lossy...MP3..Real Audio, etc...but Google Jerry ans Sarah Garcia and you will find a couple of sources.

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Poster: elbow1126 Date: Jan 4, 2010 7:53am
Forum: GratefulDead Subject: Re: The Dead's 1966 Songs

You know perhaps you should go back to lurking. You really don't bring much to the table here.

Very interesting read thanks for taking the time to put this together.

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Poster: Mandojammer Date: Jan 4, 2010 9:38am
Forum: GratefulDead Subject: Re: The Dead's 1966 Songs

Yet another Feat of Strength we've come to expect from LIA.

Many thanks....

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Poster: Diamondhead Date: Jan 4, 2010 12:03pm
Forum: GratefulDead Subject: Re: The Dead's 1966 Songs

Is that job in Santa Cruz still open?

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Poster: William Tell Date: Jan 4, 2010 7:35am
Forum: GratefulDead Subject: Re: The Dead's 1966 Songs

Thanks LiA; my first thought was "hmmm, my own long post on 1-2 seems pretty short now...

So, I've mentioned it before, but you articulated it well that there is a distinct difference in 65, 66, & 67.

65 to me is the "wanna be/finding ourselves/pseudo pop band" sound ("wanna be" as in maybe sounding like the early yardbirds or fill in the blank "pop" band, but not in a negative way--just exploratory). This can also be termed the "garage band" X "pop band" sound...They quickly move from bars to dance venues, HS's even, and I think that helps with the exploration taking them to the SF jam psychadelic sound transition as they play longer and longer tunes for the crowd (acid tests helped too of course).

This would be why my brothers thought of them as well down the list of SF bands seeing them in 65 and early 66: they weren't the "pop" band of quality of those they might be copying, imitating or forging themselves to be, and as a "dance hall band" they were not jamming yet to the degree QMS was (just the brothers opinion of course).

This is why I see early 67 as the critical year in which they, by the end of it, show the signs of what will make 68 the most amazing year ever. Somehow the brothers never lost that first impression take on them though, and didn't ever relinquish the "pop wanna be" + "dance band" characterization, thus missing the monster of SF sound they became in a sense...

Great discussion topic, LiA!

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Poster: Dudley Dead Date: Jan 4, 2010 8:19am
Forum: GratefulDead Subject: Re: The Dead's 1966 Songs

I enjoy the that early, early, mid 60's garage band, period of the Dead . I have a friend who is not a Deadhead by any means , but loves this sort of "Nuggets" type stuff . I like Pig's early , Farfisa, "96 Tears", style organ , and Billy, sometimes gets that sort of "tacka,tacka,tacka",drum sound of mid 60's dance bands .
Their evolution, just in 66, is amazing . I is interesting, and fun, to follow .
Once again , thanks to LiA .

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Poster: light into ashes Date: Jan 4, 2010 7:36pm
Forum: GratefulDead Subject: Re: The Dead's 1966 Songs

Oops - I see I forgot some links!
To the Taper's Section:

http://www.dead.net/features/tapers-section/january-1-january-7-2007 - "Tuning/Blues Jam"

http://www.dead.net/features/tapers-section/february-5-february-11-2007 - Tastebud, Mindbender, BIODTL

http://www.dead.net/features/february-23-march-1-2009 - 2/23/66 rehearsal jam

Also, I have to include a link to the excellent discussion of 1965 shows over at Lost Live Dead:

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Poster: jessandra Date: Jan 4, 2010 3:16pm
Forum: GratefulDead Subject: Re: The Dead's 1966 Songs

I was curious as to who Jon Henricks from the noted link was ...


He actually recorded the song 'Fire in the City' with the Warlocks in 1966.


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Poster: William Tell Date: Jan 4, 2010 7:44pm
Forum: GratefulDead Subject: Re: The Dead's 1966 Songs

EDIT: whoops! Sorry, Jess! Didn't see that you also linked the wiki entry, which I obviously cut and pasted below...reading your post, I thought (der) that both were links to songs, etc., and not the text!

Oh well--for those that just want to see the text without more or clicking, I'll leave this (and, in agreement with LiA, never was sure of the date of the tune as all I ever read about it was in the notes with the GRoadBoxed set, and now this entry...).

From wiki (note the "d"):

"Jon Hendricks (born September 16, 1921) is an American jazz lyricist and singer. He is considered one of the originators of vocalese, which adds lyrics to existing instrumental songs and replaces many instruments with vocalists (such as the big band arrangements of Duke Ellington and Count Basie). Furthermore, he is considered one of the best practitioners of scat singing, which involves vocal jazz soloing. For his work as a lyricist, jazz critic and historian Leonard Feather called him the "Poet Laureate of Jazz" while Time dubbed him the "James Joyce of Jive." Al Jarreau has called him "pound-for-pound the best jazz singer on the planet—maybe that's ever been".[1]

Born in 1921 in Newark, Ohio, young Jon and his 14 siblings were moved many times, following their father's assignments as an A.M.E. pastor, before settling permanently in Toledo. As a teenager, Jon's first interest was in the drums, but before long he was singing on the radio regularly with another Toledo native, pianist Art Tatum.

...In 1966 Hendricks recorded "Fire in the City" with the Warlocks, who shortly after changed their name to the Grateful Dead...."

This post was modified by William Tell on 2010-01-05 03:44:16

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Poster: light into ashes Date: Jan 4, 2010 6:57pm
Forum: GratefulDead Subject: Re: The Dead's 1966 Songs

That Jon Hendricks single is actually quite a mystery to me -

The source that says he recorded it "with the Warlocks in 1966" - well, it doesn't take an eagle eye to see that's nonsense, the "Warlocks" only existed until Dec '65.
And then the liner notes to the Birth of the Dead CD note that it was recorded in March '67 (the single released in April '67). This is puzzling - their first album was being released, so why would the Dead become an anonymous backing band for this guy? Did Warner Bros. make them an offer they couldn't refuse?

Some more chat about this here:

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Poster: jessandra Date: Jan 5, 2010 1:32am
Forum: GratefulDead Subject: Re: The Dead's 1966 Songs

Perhaps we should ask him ? ;-)

Below link also gives a recording date of March 1967.


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Poster: user unknown Date: Jan 4, 2010 3:43pm
Forum: GratefulDead Subject: Re: The Dead's 1966 Songs

Thanks "light". It's gonna take a while, but I'm reading it all and hitting all your links as well(even the ones I am already familiar with like 1/8/66...good stuff).

This post was modified by user unknown on 2010-01-04 23:43:02

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Poster: jglynn1.2 Date: Jan 4, 2010 11:05am
Forum: GratefulDead Subject: Re: The Dead's 1966 Songs

Thanks LiA

When are you submitting your thesis?


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Poster: Finster Baby Date: Jan 4, 2010 8:21am
Forum: GratefulDead Subject: Re: The Dead's 1966 Songs

Wow LiA..... you have done it again!!
Great post as usual. very detailed and informative.
Will read it more in depth later when I get some time, but wanted to comment now. loved the you tube link to the interview.... funny to hear Bob as a shy young kid. that link also led me to other great stuff r.e. Mother Mcree's!!

Good stuff as always. Interesting to learn more about the early days. I urge everyone to follow the you tube link in LiA's post. You won't be dissapointed.

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